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Indian Defence secretary visits Myanmar

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Indian Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane paid a two-day visit to Myanmar and held talks with top military leaders of the country with a focus on checking illegal cross-border movements of people and maintenance of tranquillity along the frontier between the two nations.

Aramane's visit to Myanmar from June 30 to July 1 came amid widespread protests in the country demanding restoration of democracy. The Myanmarese military seized power in a coup in February 2021.

In Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw, the defence secretary called on Chairman, State Administrative Council, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the defence ministry said.

Aramane also called on Defence Minister of Myanmar Gen (Retd.) Mya Tun Oo and held meetings with Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Navy Admiral Moe Aung and Chief of Defence Industries Lt Gen Khan Myint Than, it said.

"The visit provided an opportunity to raise matters relating to India's security with senior leadership of Myanmar," the ministry said in a statement.

"During the meetings, the two sides discussed issues related to maintenance of tranquillity in the border areas, illegal trans-border movements and transnational crimes such as drug trafficking and smuggling," it added.

Myanmar is one of India's strategic neighbours and it shares an around 1,700 kilometre-long border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

The ministry said both sides reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other.

It said India shares an around 1,700-kilometre-long border with Myanmar and "any developments in that country have a direct impact on India's bordering regions. Peace and stability in Myanmar and well-being of its people, therefore, remain of utmost importance to India."

It is understood that Aramane also conveyed India's concerns over illegal movements of the Myanmarese people to the Indian side crossing the border.

Myanmar's military has been using airstrikes targeting its opponents and those carrying out armed struggle against the ruling regime.

In April, India called for cessation of violence by all sides in Myanmar, days after the Myanmarese military junta resorted to airstrikes in the country's Sagaing region that killed over 100 people.

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